Rabbi Eliezer Shenvald, the dean of Meir Harel yeshivas .
(photo credit: Meir Harel Yeshivot)
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon authorized last week the establishment of a new
hesder yeshiva in Kiryat Ono, part of a growing network in which the traditional
five-year course is turned into a six-year track instead.
yeshiva program was established for national-religious men who wanted to combine
yeshiva study with army service. In the traditional hesder track, the conscripts
serve 16 months in the IDF and study for three-and-a-half years in
The new yeshiva in Kiryat Ono will operate according to what is
known as the “sheshsder” track, in which students commit to two years in the IDF
and almost four in yeshiva.
A similar yeshiva was also opened in Ofakim
three months ago, and the first to offer “shesh-sder” was established nine years
ago in Modi’in.
Together, the three institutions are known as the Meir
The IDF is also establishing a paramedics course in
partnership with Magen David Adom for students at the three yeshivot. There are
currently a lack of trained combat paramedics in the army, and students who
complete the course will serve in this capacity during their military
Rabbi Eliezer Shenvald, dean of the Meir Harel yeshiva network
and a colonel in the IDF Reserves, praised Ya’alon for his decision, saying it
was an expression of faith in the network which he said was a quality foundation
for longerterm courses for hesder yeshiva students.
established the “shesh-sder” course, said he was not opposed to the traditional
hesder course but that there was demand within the national-religious community
for IDF tracks of greater duration.